JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. – Musicians dream of performing on a national stage. High school band directors hope to give students such a rare opportunity.
Mark Jan. 20 on the calendar as a ‘big accomplishment’ for Jeffco Public School’s D’Evelyn Jr./Sr. High and the Jaguar marching band.
Led by band director Becky Paschke, the musicians and color guard brought a slice of Colorado to the virtual Inauguration Day Parade Across America.
High School Band Performs in Inauguration Virtual Parade
D'Evelyn marching band performs for virtual inaugural celebrations.
In a performance recorded on Friday, Jan. 8, the marching band performed “American Patrol,” a march written in 1885 by Frank White Meecham.
It was a beautiful blue-sky Colorado day – a perfect setting for a dream set in motion a few years ago.
“It was three-and-a-half years ago, I was looking for ways to have our band play on a national stage and I found the inauguration parade and thought it would be a perfect fit,” said Becky Paschke, D’Eveyln’s band director. The pandemic was a curveball, but she still applied last November after learning of the virtual parade.
On Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021 she got the exciting news: the Jaguar marching band would be one of only two high school bands to perform virtually for the Inauguration Day Parade Across America.
Five days later, the 100-member band and color guard were ready to record. They’d been practicing prior to winter break, just to be ready.
Wearing Colorado beanie hats and masks, and with Becky’s husband Chris Paschke operating the cameras, microphones, and drone, they Zoom-called parade organizers and recorded for three long hours.
Watch the full performance below.
The result was a performance to remember for a lifetime. It’s also a reason to be Colorado-proud. In a year with so many struggles and pandemic restrictions, this team found a silver lining.
“I know that music unites people and so I’m hoping that when the country watches this, we can come together as a whole and celebrate this tradition and instead of fighting today we can become united between music and other performances,” said senior color guard member Grace Kennedy.
Her band leader agreed. The performance was about celebrating Colorado and our nation.
“We’re showing that teamwork, music and arts are so important,” Paschke said. “Hopefully this is a turning point for our country where we can start healing from the pandemic and healing as a nation.”
“It’s a little thing that our band is performing, but I hope it gives people in Colorado and our nation hope that we have a better future,” Paschke said.
Full Song 'American Patrol' D'Evelyn Marching Band
D'Evelyn marching band performs 'American Patrol' for Inauguration Day virtual parade.